Our client, a young woman, was walking across a pedestrian crossing in the South Sydney area when a motor vehicle drove through the crossing and collided with her. She was thrown to the ground and rendered unconscious. She later awoke in hospital to find that she had sustained a fractured left shin, a haemorrhage in the brain, and injuries to her legs, spine and neck. Our client remained in hospital for four days before being discharged.
Once she returned home from hospital, she was unable to take care of herself or attend to any domestic duties for three months. Her husband had to take over responsibility for all of the cooking and cleaning and had to take time off work to care for her around the clock. She was also reliant on her husband to assist her with her personal hygiene and day-to-day needs. She continued to suffer from constant pain in her head and neck. She experienced painful stabbing pains in her shin and had difficulty sleeping because of this pain. Because of these ongoing restrictions, she was unable to return to work as a kitchen hand. She subsequently lost her job.
Our client approached Gerard Malouf & Partners to find out if she could be compensated for her lost income. Mr Kolokossian advised her that she had a valuable claim and explained that she could be compensated for a number of things including her lost income, the assistance provided by her husband, and any medical treatment she would require. We helped the client complete the claim form to begin her claim and ensured we aggressively managed her claim to maximise the result.
Although the insurer agreed that the driver was at fault, they suggested that our client contributed to her injuries by allegedly crossing the street while the pedestrian light was still red. We argued that this was incorrect and that our client had stopped and waited at the light until it had turned green. The insurer was not willing to accept this so we commenced proceedings in court.
We briefed a barrister in the matter and obtained a number of supporting medical reports to argue that our client would continue to be troubled by her injuries in the future. While the proceedings were underway, we were advised by our client that she would be able to undertake office based work and that she would accept such a job if she was offered it. This meant that she would not be financially “worse off” employment wise. In light of this, we advised our client that she would have difficulty convincing the court to award an amount of compensation for future lost income. We advised the client that we should attempt to settle the matter to avoid potentially losing a claim for future income if the matter proceeded all the way to a court judgment. We engaged in lengthy negotiations with the insurer and were able to successfully secure our client an impressive $150,000 in settlement of her claim despite the fact that the insurer continued to allege contributory negligence.
The client was extremely happy with the result. She was very grateful that we had provided her with an honest appraisal of her prospects at court and advised her of the benefits of attempting to settle the claim. She acknowledged that she may not have received such a high amount from the courts and acknowledged that it was due to the persistence of Gerard Malouf & Partners that she received the amount of compensation that she did.